Port of Rotterdam


InfraWorks helps team plan changes that creates opportunity for growth of freight transport

Due to the priority access of sea transport over rail and road, the current bridge over the Caland canal has to open several times per day, sometimes at a moment’s notice. When the bridge is open, the route from the Maasvlakte into Europe is not available for freight trains, creating a capacity reduction and at times delays in the railway network.

Separating freight transport and sea transport by means of an alternative route solves this in a future-proof manner. Research has shown that the new route called the Theemswegtracé is an effective alternative.

This image shows the new road design translated from Civil3D to InfraWorks. Existing roads needed to be lowered in order to have clearance to the new railway bridge. COURTESY: Port of Rotterdam

Realizing the Theemswegtracé on the freight corridor allows for further growth of freight transport the European Union –  it has a positive impact on three of the nine TEN-T corridors, specifically the Rhine – Alpine, North Sea – Mediterranean and North Sea – Baltic the team was able to demonstrate the relevance of the project.

Crossing with existing buildings – This view shows an interface with existing buildings. A part of the stakeholders area is used for the new railway. This InfraWorks model is used for communication purposes with the stakeholder. COURTESY: Port of Rotterdam

Benefits of BIM in the workflow

Multiple tools were used on the design of the project including Revit, Civil 3D, Navisworks, and InfraWorks. With this BIM workflow, the team was able to perform interface checks across different disciplines – roads, rail, civil and cables. The BIM workflow made it possible for much faster design iterations, and because of this more time for detailing.

In addition, the team experienced considerable communication improvements, and InfraWorks provided an easy environment for stakeholders to easily see and understand the model.


Time savings

Time saving was accomplished most with communication. In some cases, the team needed only one meeting with stakeholders instead of multiple meetings.

Money savings

Conducting less meetings meant cost savings.

View of the new railway crossing the existing windscreens. Two of the existing windscreens are removed. In the background, the new bridge is shown.  COURTESY: Port of Rotterdam

Project performance and delivery

Quicker design that allowed for more detailing time improved overall project performance, detail and accuracy and final delivery.


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